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Mullins and Townend treble completed by "helluva performance" from Energumene

Energumene and Paul TownendEnergumene and Paul Townend
© Photo Healy Racing

A Grade One treble in the first three races for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend was completed by a Closutton one two three led home by the hugely impressive Energumene (8/11 out to 5/6 favourite) in the Grade One Patrick Ward & Co. Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase.

Thankfully Rachael Blackmore and Captain Guinness walked away after their fall two out in this Leopardstown extended two mile one furlong event.

Eventual second Franco De Port did well to survive an error at the fence past the stands, but there was no disguising the utter superiority of Energumene from the front as he scored by ten lengths. Blackbow was three parts of a length back in third. Gaillard Du Mesnil set the ball rolling for Mullins and Townend and Energumene actually bettered star stable companion Chacun Pour Soi rsquo;s time thirty five minutes earlier, by 1.3 seconds.

“To me he felt he quickened a lot off the bend, winged the second last and quickened again around the bend into the straight. I kind of knew then it was going to take a fair one if they were coming with me after quickening that time, to go by me,” reported Townend.

“I thought that was a helluva performance from a novice. He jumped and galloped and gave no quarter to any horse,” said Mullins.

“You couldn't ask for anything more, he probably stood a little far back off the last and Paul said he stood a bit far off another fence but other than that it was as good as you'd get from a horse having his third run over fences.

“He went a good even gallop in front and the time tells you how good a performance it was.

“I was hoping that the way he gallops and jumps he would be a two-miler but any horse that can do that is going to surprise you.

“Obviously when you get that type of performance you're delighted as you don't ever expect that.

“He's every inch a chaser to look at. If you were going to draw a picture of a chaser he's the one you'd draw.”

On whether he's looking forward to a match against Shishkin he added:- “ I don't know, I'd rather it was without Shishkin!

“It looks like it's going to be a race to look forward to from both sides. Shishkin is a helluva horse. It's great that we have one from each side of the Irish Sea going there and we're looking forward to it.”

Energumene is 5/2 from 5/1 non runner no bet with Paddy Power for the Arkle. Shishkin is 5/6 favourite from 8/11.

(GC & EM)